South Australia wins historic submarine contract

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Australia’s next generation of submarines will be built at the Adelaide shipyard, Prime Minister Turnbull announced on Monday.

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The announcement  follows the Defence White Paper confirmation that the $35 billion Future Frigate program will occur in South Australia and last week’s decision to commence the build program of Offshore Patrol Vessels in Adelaide in 2018.

Mr Turnbull also revealed that DCNS of France has been selected as the preferred international partner for the design of the 12 Future Submarines, following the comprehensive Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) involving DCNS, TKMS of Germany and the Government of Japan.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill welcomed Mr Turnbull’s announcement, saying it was a “major win” for the State.

“Today’s announcement is a compete victory for our campaign to have the 12 submarines built in Adelaide. I want to thank all South Australians for standing with us in our campaign,” Mr Weatherill said.

“We fought to defend SA workers when their skills and capabilities were under attack. We fought for 12 submarines when it looked like we were getting 8 – and we won. We fought for a local build when it looked like we were getting an overseas build – and we won.”

Mr Stuart Wiley, the interim CEO of South Australian submarine builder and maintainer ASC, said the decision to build the 12 future submarines in Australia was recognition of the company’s highly skilled workforce and their recent productivity improvements.

He described the project as “a true national endeavour” which would involve thousands of suppliers across the country and generate thousands of direct jobs.

“ASC has more than 2,600 men and women currently working on submarines and warships; it’s the largest and most capable naval shipbuilding workforce in Australia and the quality of their work is world class,” Mr Wiley said.

“ASC is committed to working collaboratively with DCNS from the earliest stages and sharing our unique understanding of Australian submarine requirements and conditions to ensure we build on Australia’s sovereign submarine capability to meet future needs.”

The Future Submarine project is the largest and most complex defence acquisition Australia has ever undertaken. This $50 billion investment will directly sustain around 1,100 Australian jobs and a further 1,700 Australian jobs through the supply chain.